Gardening the Mind

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I recently spoke to a woman who is one of the few surviving anti-GPS enthusiasts. She stated that she likes to use maps because she prefers them to GPS, she likes to know the area she lives in and not simply be a slave to turn by turn instructions. Her chief concern about the technology was that its stopping people from thinking and developing a lateral thinking mindset. Something which I somewhat contest, I believe that the technology of the future, although it might render certain thought processes obsolete, it may in fact call for new patterns. This is something which I had on my mind while reading Gardeners Five Minds For the Future. The five minds are as followed

The Disciplined mind – a person who has mastered a specific craft
The Synthesising mind – Somebody who is capable to making dense of large amounts of diverse information
The Creating mind – this is a new evolution of ‘mind’ as it combines the previous two. This is the mind that innovates a creative idea from synthesis and then shapes it into a disciplined form which can be consumed.
The Respectful mind – This mind recognises the diversity and complexity which is becoming prevalent in our world, and embraces it.
The Ethical Mind – Ponders the impact of ones work, and how it could render service to the community

Gardener then goes on to discuss the new vs the old attitude to education, and this is where the GPS argument comes in. In the past for example, it was necessary for people to develop a disciplined mind, one had to be to ultimate master of a trade, many things were not automated, thus calling for intense learning about all details of a task such as map reading or type setting. Now, in the digital age however, this is no longer required, as the previously ‘nitty gritty’ information is readily at hand for anybody. Therefore, we can now turn our focus to developing Ethical, Respectful and Creative minds.

Finally, the chapter concludes by explaining the importance of developing rounded mindsets, and the ability of becoming a multi-faceted human being, along with the benefits this will have on the quality of ones life.

Technology Burnt out the Clock

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“I just don’t know how to handle the way my life is headed”, is what I said despairingly to my father, I had spent the day doing eleven hours of computer based work, and realized that if I wanted to succeed in media, this would most probably be my future. I have become a slave to the technology which I understand makes my life more efficient. I want to write, use the computer, I want to create, use the computer. It seems that everything productive to me, now involves using a computer. Similarly, this was a central focus of this weeks reading, it explored the paradox of technology and its affect on time. The argument has been that the more we embrace technology, and machines, the more time we will have to spend on other things. Yet it seems that the opposite has happened, we have actually become more stressed, and feel the need to work more. Some people accredit this paradox to technology, and the constant access and network we have around us, however Wajman debunks this theory and discusses a totally new approach to time management in the age of technology. We need to become aware of the time technology gives us and take opportunity of it, rather than making us feel like we have less time, and that we need to spread ourselves too thinly. Another aspect is the idea of slow-zones, or appreciating moments of slow in a fast moving society. For example, growing vegetables locally as a community, or simply recognising and enjoying leisure time, are both examples of how the fastness of the world has allowed us to appreciate the slow.

Mindset is set for Success

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All set, with my mindset now. After this weeks reading there was much food for thought about content creation. This has been something playing on my mind of late. It seems that in order to succeed in any endeavor one must wholeheartedly practice and make a time commitment. This is an idea which has been explored at length, for example in the book “Outliers” by Malcom Gladwell. I have been considering this concept in my own life, im trying to make media and become a comedian, how much work do I need to do? This is when I encountered the work of Cal Newport where he says to be “So good they cant ignore you”. He basically outlines two mindsets, the passion mindset and the craft mans mindset, in one where you pursue an art for the love, and in the other where you simply try to get better and better at something. He suggests that they way to approach creation in order to succeed is more in line with the craft mans mindset, and then the passion will follow. So basically, by working on your skill until you hone it completely you will eventually become so good at what you do that people will find it impossible not to aknowledge your work. Once this has been achieved the passion will follow. In order to explore this he interviewed Jordan Tice, a 24 year old guitarist who has has managed to make a professional career out of his task-oriented, skill building mindset.
Hearing this week, really just made me realize that BAM. Thats what I need to do. Put my head down to camera. And lets do this.


Exposure Dollars!

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If anybody has ever asked you to make some form of media for them, you are probably going to relate to this comic.

This says a lot about the status of Art and the creative industries in our society. Only recently are they becoming considered seriously as jobs, or worthy professions. However, there is still a lot of question surrounding how we pay for creative goods and services. This is something which has been discussed by Lobato and Thomas in their book The Informal Media Economy. They touched on the conception of sites such as freelancer and elance where people can be paid virtual peanuts to do media work which should be considered highly paid skilled work. Therefore its time to consider how a formalization can be put in place to make the payment and product consistent. Because one of the current issues is that its a global market, this means that work can be outsourced to third world countries where the minimum wage is less. Normalizing however does come with its own set of issues. One of the advantages of having such a low level of payment is that entry level media professionals can provide an average quality of work in order to build their portfolio. However, if a formal process was put in place it would create barriers of entry to the student starting out in the business. Thus perhaps a solution could be that different spaces are created for professionals and students. But then the question is. Would the students get work?



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Bowie said it the best when he said:
Chris Lederer and Megan Brownlow also said it, but they took sixteen pages. The face of the media industry is changing, entertainment is reaching more people, and thus audiences are becoming more diverse. Multiple platforms are beginning to emerge, and content creators are being given more tools. This means that in order to remain a successful media producer, one must cater to and understand these changes. Lederer and Brownlow explored this idea with regards to how media is being received, they were able to identify that there was a direct correlation between the percentage of under 35’s in a country and the growth of its Media industry. In other words, it is clear that progress is favouring the media literate, those with an understanding of how to reach content are usually the most engaged. This is where media companies need to learn how to distribute properly, in order to expand their audience.

Another finding was that although the channels of distribution are rapidly changing, the content people want is still most important. Content has remained specific to demographic, location and preference, therefore companies need to be creating the desired content, and distributing it through the right channels.

Basically the findings conclude that there needs to be an overarching sense of coherence in the industry, strong content needs to be managed correctly, in order to ensure the correct distribution and access methods are used, which will enable successful growth in the media and entertainment industry.

Megatrends Coming Up!

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Megatrends… The word itself may be too broad, but in the light of Klaus Schwab’s research on the fourth industrial revolution its a term used to describe major directions in which technology is progressing. Schwab starts by breaking down our current technological progress into three categories, the physical, digital and biological. Under each are then subcategories which fully cover our major technological breakthroughs. For example:

  • Automation (Self driving cars, Artificial Intelligence)
  • Advanced Robotics
  • Synthetic biological materials
  • 3D printing

After identifying these elements, Schwab goes on to explain the potential impact they will have on the way in which we live. For example, governments will need to adapt their systems and implement new technologies, for the management of staff, tax collection, and  nationwide communication. Evolving these systems is imperative in order to ensure survival and growth for the future, it is clear that by not moving with the trends, one will be left non-equiped to deal with the future of the world.

A simmilar discussion can be had about the operation of future social spaces. History has proven that one of the most difficult things about technology is integrating it without disregarding tradition, and cultural structures.  However, technology can also be used to empower people within a society and improve their way of life. For example, by bringing information to the less advantaged and giving those in poverty access to cheaper and better nutrition and health.

Thus it is very clear that in order for us to benefit from our technological advances we need to adapt and fully embrace the current changes.